Have you ever written ‘pork roast’ on your shopping list, but then when you get to the butcher you get confused from the range of cuts that are offered? We decode different cuts for you to ensure you choose the right cut for your next delicious pork feast.
The belly is very popular and for good reason! Cuts from the belly, including pork belly and spare ribs are packed full of flavour.
Pork neck (or collar butt or pork scotch) is from the shoulder of the pig. Cuts such as scotch steak, due to its amount of fat, is melt-in-your-mouth tender and ideal for roasting and for casseroles.
The pork loin comes from the animal’s back and is a lean and tender cut with a mild flavour. With loin cuts, it is advisable to keep an eye on this cut while cooking so the meat does not overcook, due to its lack of fat.
Some pork loin cuts include striploin, shortloin and tenderloin.
A popular cut is the rack – and if you are looking for a quick and easy meal, a rindless rack roast doesn’t take long to cook and is easy to carve. However, if you are a fan of pork crackle, a rind on loin roast is sure to please.
The pork shoulder is always a top pick for the family roast dinner, because with the rind on, it is perfect for crackle. Whether you are roasting or slow cooking, a boned rolled shoulder is a popular choice. When cooked according to instructions, the meat will be tender and the crackling crisply – and a boned rolled shoulder is easier to carve and takes less time to cook than a shoulder with the bone in.
Other popular shoulder cuts include the shoulder hock and riblet.
A boned and rolled leg of pork is a favourite for roasting. A boneless leg is ideal for a mid-week roast, as without the bone it is quick and easy to cut.
For something a bit different, a pickled pork netted leg roast will be tender and flavoursome. Similar to corned beef, pickled pork is salt and sugar-cured meat that is saltier and sweeter in flavour than fresh pork. Boil it or cook in the slowcooker with lots of water..
Remember, if you are unsure what cut of pork is right for the meal you have planned, be sure to talk to your butcher about the options available and how to cook it perfectly.